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    Choice Proof 1854 Seated Liberty Dollar
    Second-Finest Cameo Example at PCGS
    Spectacular Multicolor Toning and Contrast

    1854 $1 PR64 Cameo PCGS. CAC. The 1854 Seated Liberty dollar is an elusive date in all formats. A nominal mintage of 33,140 business-strike examples was accomplished during the year, but the coins never circulated in the domestic economy because their intrinsic value was greater than their face value. The weight of the other silver denominations had been reduced the year before, but specifications for the silver dollar remained unchanged, perhaps because it had become a popular medium of exchange in the China trade, and careful Chinese merchants would have noticed the reduction and refused the "underweight" coins. With their silver content remaining constant, many 1854 silver dollars were shipped to China and the survival rate for the business-strike issue is quite low.
    The mintage of proof Seated Liberty dollars in 1854 was not recorded, as the Philadelphia Mint did not begin its commercial proof set offerings until 1858. Before that date proofs were generally struck to order, and no specific mintage totals were kept. The mintage was undoubtedly small, probably no more than 50-100 pieces in all. PCGS estimates 40-50 examples survive today, but they have only certified 19 total specimens, and NGC has recorded 18 certification events, with an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers (11/12).Judging from the infrequent appearance of this issue at public auction, we suspect the PCGS estimate of survivors is too generous.
    The limited availability of business-strikes has always put strong date-collector pressure on the small supply of proofs. Of course, early collectors usually preferred to update their collections by ordering proof sets from the Mint each year anyway, but that practice was not widely followed until commercial offerings began in 1858. In the case of the 1854 proof dollars, early numismatists realized there was something special about the issue almost as soon as the coins were released, and specimens began to appear at auction as early as the A.C. Kline Sale (Moses Thomas and Sons, 6/1855). Lot 435 of that sale includes the following, "Dollar, very rare, 1854, beautiful proof, fresh from the die." Collector interest has always remained strong over the years, with recent sales including the spectacular PR65 Cameo PCGS specimen in lot 3965 of the FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), which realized $51,750.
    The present coin is a delightful Choice proof that shows dramatic cameo contrast between the deeply reflective fields and the frosty devices. PCGS has certified only four coins with the coveted Cameo designation, with this example being the second finest (11/12). The design elements are sharply detailed in most areas, with just a touch of softness on the eagle's left (facing) wing that is seen on almost all examples of this issue. The central devices are mostly brilliant white, and the fields are blanketed in iridescent shades of gold, sea-green, and cobalt-blue, increasing the impressive cameo effect. This coin possesses a complete package of absolute rarity, high technical grade, and outstanding eye appeal. The discerning collector should bid accordingly.
    From The Teich Family Collection. (NGC ID# 4SJH, PCGS# 86997)

    View all of [The Teich Family Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,098

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